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7

Dave Van Ronk, the Real Llewyn Davis

By John Morthland, Contributor

How important a figure was Dave Van Ronk on the Greenwich Village folk scene in its heyday? Consider the description of Bob Dylan, who was befriended by Van Ronk upon his arrival in New York in 1961, in his own memoir, Chronicles: "He was passionate and stinging, sang like a soldier of fortune and sounded like he paid the price. Van Ronk could howl and whisper, turn blues into ballads and ballads into blues. I… more »

9

Nashville and the Art of the Fake Country Song

By Rob Harvilla, Contributor

[This piece contains spoilers from the ABC show Nashville — read at your own peril. — Ed.] Let us now consider Nashville, ABC's one-hour, primetime, moderately prestigious grand ole soap opry that seeks to triangulate Glee and Dallas by depicting the tawdry, bed-swapping, alarmingly pouty-faced back- and onstage shenanigans of (fictional) country music stars. Each episode boasts a handful of new songs — some pretty good, a few transcendent, most of 'em for sale. (We're on… more »

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James Blackshaw, Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat

2014 | Label: Tompkins Square

There have been few superhero franchises as successful as that of Fantômas. It spans centuries and countries as well as all as media — there are Fantômas books, silent serials and feature films, comic books and television. In truth, superhero isn’t quite the correct term; the mysterious Fantômas is, instead, an anti-hero — a sadistic killer and sociopath. That avant-metal supergroup helmed by Mr. Bungle’s Mike Patton is named after him, and U.K. guitarist/ composer James Blackshaw’s latest album invokes that dastard once again.

Last year, composer (and renowned Amelie soundtrack… more »